Step two in this multi-week preview is the punting game. Fun! Don't get me wrong, I understand the implications on field position virtue of the punting game, but it doesn't exactly draw in hits, so to speak. Despite all of that, the Jayhawks acutally possess quite a punter in Kyle Tucker.
While averaging a fairly meager 39.3 yards a boot last season, neglecting him the status of breaking the top 50, he was a master at pinning the opposition deep in their own territory. A remarkable 23 times Kyle forced the opposing team to start drives more than 80 yards away from glory, something that can not be overlooked. Judging simply by those statistics it would appear that Kyle Tucker has the same tool-set as Scott Webb, a wildly accurate leg but one that lacks "BOOM!". Are there better punters out there? Sure. However, he is definately in the upper half of punters in all of college football. And in Lawrence, that is the most you can ask for.
Besides Tucker, well, who cares? However, for fun's sake we will take a more-than-brief look at the rest of the punters on the roster. First off, local boy and Rockhurst High graduate Nick Kirkman. He figures to not play at all this season, but I guess he could be a factor in the coming years as could redshirt sophomore Kyle Davis. Davis is also a Rockhurst High School graduate, and because of their two-year seperation I would imagine there would be a rivalry between the two. While it won't necessarily come down to this, it would be fun to see a Hawklet-filled competition at punter. Were it to come down to such a dramatic situation, I would put my money on the safe pick, the more experienced Kyle Davis. He would be a RS junior by then and would have spent 3 years under Mangino and his coaches.
Not a single person. Besides the walk-on-to-be, Nick Kirkman, there are no punters on the horizon meaning the possible Hawklet-deathmatch might not be so unlikely after all.
Similar to our kicking situation, our punting figures to be very average. Nothing spectacular, no 60+ yard punts or anything, but solid production and in Kyle Tucker's case, quite a few pinnings inside the 20.
Next Up: Safety